Home Business News Hancock warns ‘new variant’ of Covid is ‘growing faster’ in the South

Hancock warns ‘new variant’ of Covid is ‘growing faster’ in the South

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
14th Dec 20 4:29 pm

The British government have been forced to contact the World Health Organization (WHO) after it has been identified there is now a “new variant” of the virus.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock warned MPs in the Commons that this new strain has been identified mainly in the South of England.

Hancock assured MPs in the House of Commons that the new strain of the virus “has not” proved to be more likely to cause a serious illness, but is faster spreading.

He addressed MPs and said, “Over the last few days, thanks to our world-class genomic capability in the UK, we have identified a new variant of coronavirus which may be associated with the faster spread in the southeast of England.

“Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variant.

“We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant, predominantly in the south of England.

“Although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas.”

The Health Secretary added, “Similar variants have been identified in other countries over the last few months.

“We’ve notified the World Health Organization about this new variant.

“Public Health England is working hard to continue its expert analysis.

“I must stress at this point that there is nothing to suggest that this variant is more likely to cause serious disease.

“The latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine.

“But it shows we’ve got to be vigilant, follow the rules and take personal responsibility not to spread this virus.”

“I need to tell the House that over the last week, we’ve seen very sharp, exponential rises in the virus across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.

“We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out.

“In some parts of these areas the doubling time is around every seven days.”

Hancock warned that  Hospitals across London, Essex and Kent are “under pressure.”

“We know that this doubling of cases will be mirrored in hospital admissions and it only takes a few doublings for the NHS to be overwhelmed.”

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